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Poster: Diana Hamilton Date: May 22, 2003 12:55am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Pitching to bands- inquiry letters

where to send the appropriate information if approval is sent in response to an inquiry by a fan and not necessarily in response to's contact

Bands should use as a response point for smoothest setup. BTW, if sending an inquiry- even if there's no response yet- it's also important for you, the fan, to give us a buzz at in order to update the "contact status" so that bands aren't being needlessly bugged multiple times by different people.

Is there some sort of template letter that's being sent?

I've been saving and refining phrasings as I've been emailing bands, and have worked up the following variations. A couple of important points:

1) The notes below are generalized, but will be more meaningful if tailored to the band itself. Appropriate changes are good, case by case. The only constant I've found is that all bands are highly individual. :) Personalizing a message is respectful and caring.

2) They mention that a pro-trading stance is already known and posted up at the site. Definitely either make that happen or that should not go into an inquiry.

3) Reword note enough to make it clear that it's coming from you, not me! As of 2/2003 there has been some confusion over this with a few bands. Thanks. Below has been modified to avoid straight paste of my name.

**example 1- a bit brief, 2nd version maybe better:
From: (name)
Subject: * and the Internet Archive

Dear *,

Our online music trading group ( has recently gotten something
going with the Internet Archive ( to host trade-friendly live

The new project is similar to the music exchange we've already been
doing, but with more exposure and bandwidth. It's totally noncommercial-
that's the basic foundation for the idea. All hosting is done within the
terms of bands' particular wishes and the usual trading ethics. Both
bands and fans can upload live recordings in SHN format to be hosted. No
commercial releases are to be hosted- only material that bands allow to be
freely traded.

Fans have posted to that you are taping/trading friendly.
Would this new site be covered under your regular trading
policy? I ask because the etree archive would like to hear a simple "yes,
go ahead" or else "no" response from various artists they host. (Hearing
"no" means we can then turn away traders' uploads so they don't fill up
the pending-area drives.)

We keep a copy of each band's policy, and notice of their go-ahead or
denial, on file for user reference.

Thanks so much for any response you could give either way! I'm a
volunteer band contacter for the archive- please respond to to inform the curators.
One of the main etree archive architects,
Jon Aizen is also reachable through in case you
have any questions for him.

(example .sig only) my name -- my address -- my location
Small SHN & MD5 FAQ:
SHN Info Database:
Internet Archive:

**example 2- "executive summary" style, to known trade-friendly bands:

From: name
Subject: Permission for * shows at

Hi *, I am a volunteer for a fan-driven site that hosts live
recordings of taping/trading-friendly artists,
Internet Archive:

We already have notes at the site mentioning your taping/
trading-friendly policy.

Would it be OK if fans sent their recordings there to be
exchanged with other fans? They're just waiting for a go ahead from you
or whoever can say so. Thanks for any reply you can give! (If you do say
"No" that would also be useful to know.)

Please send any reply to so archive curators
will know your feelings.

About the project:
*Totally noncommercial in all aspects
*Trade-friendly artists only, with their permission
*Trade-permitted live recordings only, no commercial releases
*Pointers to artists' official websites, trading policies posted at site
*Project is driven by volunteer music fans
*Exposure for bands has been pretty good

If you have any questions, just let me know. Thanks again!

(example .sig only) my name -- my address -- my city
Small SHN & MD5 FAQ:
SHN Info Database:
Internet Archive:

**example 3- added 2/03, revised 5/03- long and descriptive, perhaps for bands beyond the usual "etree sphere":

From: (name)
Subject: * Presence in the Live Music Archive?

(recommended- brief personal remarks can go here followed by "here's a backgrounder" type lead-in and then below msg. Seeing the whole big thing "cold" in an email may make a busy person hit delete. Personalization helps!)

Hi, I'm a volunteer for the Live Music Archive,
a project of the nonprofit Internet Archive,

The Live Music Archive is a free, online public library of live
recordings. We only host material by artists who like the idea of
noncommercial distribution of some or all of their live material.
Live recordings are a part of our culture and might be lost in 100 years
if they're not archived. We think music matters and want to preserve it
for future generations.

Would you be interested in having material in the Live Music Archive? You
keep the copyrights; all we ask is for permission to host and archive your
music. This way the music is preserved for tomorrow and fans get to enjoy
it today- noncommercially and with your permission only.

You can read the full details about the Live Music Archive at
I've included a summary below for quick reference.

So far we've attracted many bands who are already familiar with the idea
of noncommercial distribution (often through open fan taping/trading
policies). But we'd love to include a wider spectrum of artists, so we're
emailing folks to find out their stance on taping/trading and to ask for
permission to archive and host their live music.

Background on the Live Music Archive:
* Nonprofit and noncommercial. We provide royalty-free, no-cost public
downloads to Archive visitors. We emphasize that downloaders may only
trade or give away their copies for free. (The Internet Archive is a
donation-supported registered nonprofit and accepts donations.)
* Artist info on file. We'll link to your official website, and include
your taping/trading policies.
* High exposure. Lots of artists have signed up, so lots of users have
shown up in search of more music.
* Archivally minded. Performances are hosted and preserved for the long
term. "Lossless" archival formats are preferred for best preservation
(we don't use mp3).
* Copyright owners keep their copyrights. Only archiving and noncommercial
distribution permission is granted to the Live Music Archive and fans.
* By permission of artists or artist reps. You can specify extent of
permission: selected contributions from artist only, or recordings
made/uploaded by fans, or a mixture. Artist's wishes are posted clearly on
* You can upload your own material if you like, or leave the uploading to
your fans.
* You can "try it out" by initially giving permission to archive only one
or two shows, which you can specify if you like.
* You can rescind permission on specified items (such as shows being
considered for commercial release) at any time by letting us know if you
change your mind. Likewise you can withdraw from the Archive entirely if
you so desire. We'll remove your music from the Archive servers, though we
obviously cannot delete the music users have downloaded and shared with
each other.
* Curators screen material. Our project is driven and tended by volunteer
music lovers, who try to make sure only approved material is hosted for
each artist.
* Any style of live performance welcome. We host many "jamband" acts, but
hope to archive a much broader cultural range- classical, jazz,
experimental, folk, ethnic- really, anything that's live.

If you would like to be included, here are some tips we have for artists:

Check out our site and please let us know how you feel about the idea! If
you want to discuss the Live Music Archive contact us at If you want to give us permission to archive and host
your work, have a person with authority to do so (typically, the artist or
a copyright holder) send us an email to and we'll
contact you with further information. If this does not interest you,
please write back with a "No" for our records instead. Thanks!

(example .sig only) my name -- my address -- my city
Small SHN & MD5 FAQ:
SHN Info Database:
Internet Archive:

This post was modified by hamilton on 2003-05-22 07:55:16

Reply [edit]

Poster: datgeek Date: Oct 28, 2002 9:49am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Re: Pitching to bands- inquiry letter

Thanks, this will help with new bands :)

Reply [edit]

Poster: Jonathan Aizen Date: Oct 28, 2002 1:56pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Re: Pitching to bands- inquiry letter is ready to roll.

Reply [edit]

Poster: cody hindman Date: Sep 18, 2014 2:25am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Pitching to bands- inquiry letter

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